Christmas is canceled!

And I’m rather relieved. My family wanted to do the usual in-person Xmas, which means gathering indoors, having tea and cakes by the fire, opening presents, eating lunch. This takes a few hours. Lovely hours, ones I have loved for my whole life. But this is 2020 and I was not looking forward to Christmas. In fact, the prospect was stressing me out. My parents and sister wanted to do it, so Slava and I were prepared to take a Covid test, which would require at least 2 weeks real quarantine, which is harder than it sounds, as you may know. This week mom let me know she was OK with not doing it.

Our alternative is an outdoor Xmas on the next warm day. New England winters are unpredictable, as you may have heard. We have many freezing days, but also the occasional 60 degree day. So, next nice one, we’ll get together in the yard of the house where my sister and I grew up, and exchange gifts, drink tea, eat cakes and perhaps a light lunch. Oh, and exchange humble presents.

But until then, I’m recommending some TV Christmas Specials! Christmas is canceled. Let the CHRISTMAS SPECIALS BEGIN!

NUMBER ONE This is one of the most important ones in my life. For 20 years (ish) I hosted a Pee Wee Christmas Special party. Friends came over, we did some crafts, drank something, ate something, and watched The Special. Eventually I got a video projector (thanks, Mike), but I continued to project this crappy “screener” VHS from the video store I worked at, so every now and then an FBI warning would scroll across the screen, adding to the charm and comedy.You will never see a more star-studded special.Enjoy!

NUMBER TWO Today’s Christmas Special comes to you from the genius that was The Monkees. The finale is a great a-cappella rendition of the 16th century Spanish song, Riu Riu Chiu. Peter and Davy burn joss sticks and smile at each other in reaction to how much Mickey is killing the solos. Davy’s voice plays an important part, mimicking the reedy sound of the shawm. After the song, there is a joyfully anarchic credit sequence with the crew. Enjoy!

NUMBER THREE’S Christmas Special comes to you from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jennifer’s going to be alone for Christmas! The gang have other plans. There’s a clever diagetic Christmas tune played at the end.

STAY TUNED for more episodes!

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